I'm sick and craving it. What's the secret to the good stuff?
It's a two-day process, but I promise it will be totally worth it.
DAY 1: MAKE THE STOCK
Roast 6 chicken legs with 2 onions, 2 carrots, and 2 celery ribs, roughly chopped
Put the roasted stuff in large stockpot with the following:
1 whole chicken, raw
(Optional: chicken feet, bones, necks, gizzards, etc.)
2 whole yellow onion with skin on
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
smashed (but not chopped) garlic cloves (I like a lot, at least 12)
1/4 cup vinegar (very important)
cold water to cover by an inch or more
Bring JUST to a boil over MEDIUM heat (i.e., slowly). Skim off any scum or foam that forms.
Cover and put in a 200 degree oven for as long as you can. Twelve hours is optimal.
Cool enough to handle. Strain. Refrigerate overnight. Scrape the chicken fat off the top, save it for other uses.
DAY 2: MAKE THE SOUP
Using the stock as your base, add your veggies, cut small and attractively for eating: onions, carrots, and celery (in a 2:1:1 ratio), a bundle of herbs tied together (thyme, sage, and parsley), and a few boneless chicken thighs. Simmer until the thighs are cooked through, then remove them and cool. Pull the chicken apart using two forks (nicer than carefully cut pieces).
When the vegetables are soft, add anything else you might like (some frozen peas? swiss chard or kale, torn in bite-sized pieces? a few diced spring onions? egg noodles, which will take the longest to cook?). Remove the herb bundle and add back the chicken.
Salt and pepper to taste.
I make this quarterly for friends, and they all go quite bonkers for it. Truly, it will be the best soup you've ever had.
And yes, I know what an impossibly long recipe this is. It's much easier than it looks, though. And it is SO worth it.
Starts with a whole chicken and a long slow stewing.
What an excellent recipe R1. And all real food, no man-made chemical broth.
Very good recipe, R1. I add chicken feet, yes, chicken feet to the stock. It makes it richer and very delicious. otherwise your recipe sounds great.
What happens to all the chicken cooked on Day 1? Has all the flavor been extracted so that it's inedible?
Sounds good; I'll try this.
[quote] Has all the flavor been extracted so that it's inedible?
pretty much, so if you're on the cheap, use chicken backs or wings. feed the cooked flesh to your kitties.
R1 here. Yes, the chicken and veg from the first day is totally spent, but pets will love it. Just be careful to extract all the bones, which will have fallen apart and be kinda mixed with the chicken and veg.
The vinegar is to extract more collagen from the bones, and more nutrients from the stock ingredients.
Chicken feet make a huge difference, if you can get them, but only one specialty shop in our area ever carries them, and it's not something I can count on.
The onions with the skin on are to add that lovely golden color to the broth.
Roasted chicken makes a deeper, richer-tasting broth, but I find that a mixture of roasted and raw chicken makes a lovely balance. Sometimes I find roasting all the chicken in advance makes the flavor so intense that the vegetables don't have a chance to shine.
Cooking it in the oven at 200 degrees keeps the stock just below a simmer, which keeps the stock from getting cloudy. Also, cooking it in the oven instead of on the stovetop makes sure it is evenly heated instead of just coming from the bottom, so nothing sticks to the bottom or is burned.
You can use SOME salt during the stock-making, but beware, you can always add salt but it's difficult to subtract it unless you want to water it down, and then you've ruined all your hard work. Basically I season the chicken I'm roasting, and that's about all the salt I use during the stock-making process. Some cooks put peppercorns (some whole, some cracked) in the stock, but I find they get more intense with time, so I prefer to only add pepper at the end.
If you just want to make the stock, of course you can boil it down to concentrate the flavors even further, then put it in smaller containers and freeze them. Then you don't have to much so very much soup at one time. It's the stock that takes so long; once you have that, you have a marvelous base for a ton of different soups, sauces, and other applications.
Sorry, one more thing.
I make a variant of this soup which I call my Healing Soup. I start with the stock, then add cabbage, leeks, the onion/celery/carrot combo, MORE garlic (like, another dozen cloves), julienned ginger, a pound of mushrooms (I prefer cremini/baby bellas), a can of diced tomatoes with juice, juice from a half lemon, a dash of soy sauce, a couple of threads of saffron, 1/4 tsp dried chili peppers, a couple of scallions, and some flatleaf parsley, minced.
For the meat, I poach chicken breasts (rather than thighs, because they're lighter and some people when they're sick don't enjoy the richer taste of dark meat) and some large, raw, tail-off shrimp, halved lengthwise, tossed in at the end and gently reheated. I finish it with a drizzle of sesame oil.
The ginger, parsley, garlic, onions, mushrooms, and saffron have antiviral and antibacterial properties, and strengthen the immune system.
R8, please continue with advice. You should have your own show.
Sounds great, thanks for posting that recipe.
OP, your healing soup sounds incredible!
I have a tiny freezer. Any tips on reducing stock? Specifically, how much can you reduce it and how do you know what the water:stock ratio is when you want to use it?
It's always better if you choke your chicken first.
Tabatchnick Chicken soup with dumplings in Kosher freezer section goes on sale, $1.50. I stock up on them. I add sea salt and bouquet garni while heating in the microwave. Voici.
NO reason to waste the chicken and let the meat poach like that.
Roast the chicken first, remove meat.
Then roast the bones for extra color and flavor. Make your soup from bones, not a whole chicken, you will have a more flavorful soup as well as meat to eat or add in when done.
1. Open can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup.
3. While heating, make a complicated cocktail with lots of vanilla vodka and at least one choking hazard. ReaLemon juice optional.
[quote]I have a tiny freezer. Any tips on reducing stock? Specifically, how much can you reduce it and how do you know what the water:stock ratio is when you want to use it?
Yes: taste, taste, taste.
Honestly, I used to fret endlessly over this, until I realized that you can boil it down to something very thick indeed, and freeze it in ice cube trays, then keep the cubes in a freezer baggie and pull out one when you want it. Add water, taste, add more water, and taste again, until it's the strength you want it.
Really, you don't want your stock to be the same strength for all applications anyway. For chicken soup, you want an intense chickeny flavor -- UNLESS the emphasis is on more delicate vegetables. For other soups, you want a good "supporting note" from the stock, but you don't want the flavor to overwhelm. Ditto for sauces. For a batch of rice, throw in a cube and add the requisite amount of water; it makes a nice change.
So concentrate it as much as you have patience for, and store it as conveniently as possible. But just keep tasting, tasting, and tasting to make sure it's the right balance when you're ready to reconstitute it.
By the way, here's another reason you use a very light hand on the salt when you're making stock. You might want a strong chicken flavor in your dish, but maybe it already has enough salty ingredients -- so you don't want to throw the balance off with your stock. (I've learned that lesson the hard way!)
[quote]Always use a kosher chicken, and kosher salt.
A kosher chicken, besides being salted during the "curing" process, is raised and slaughtered more humanely and usually isn't filled with antibiotics and such. Empire is a terrific brand.
I always use kosher salt because I find it easier to control, there's no iodine taste, and it makes a nice finishing on meats.
Empire is grossly overpriced. You can get farm fresh chicken in Chinatown for less that's better.
R18 I forgot -- you also need to add a taco seasoning packet and some pumpkin pie spice.
Chicken soup should not take 2 days to make.
To make the best-chicken-soup-in-the world it's all about the quality of the chicken. You want a chicken that is at least 4 months old. 6 months is better. And has been raised without growth hormones.
The chicken meat will have a "meat like" quality: it'll be dense and tougher then what you are used to.
Add to cold water. After it comes to a boil, skim.... cook at a very gentle simmer for 3 hours.
Afterwards: Discard skin and bones. Shred meat.
The vegetables you want are carrots, onion, flat parsley and a nice amount of celery. Everything else is superfluous although parsnips are nice. The only seasoning is salt and pepper.
And you must.... absolutely must ...salt well.
Um, you guys? OP is sick.
Who wants to cook when they're sick?
OP, find a nice Jewish delicatessen and order up. Or use your phone-a-friend card.
Don't forget the matzoh balls.
If you use roasted bones to make your stock, make sure to chop them in half with a cleaver so the marrow can enrich the liquid. This will make a brown (as opposed to a buttery yellow) base.
[quote]Empire is grossly overpriced. You can get farm fresh chicken in Chinatown for less that's better.
I live in east central Florida. We don't have a Chinatown.
In east central Florida you probably have chickens in your backyard.
Chicken Pho always does the trick.
What is Pho?
That Healing Soup recipe does sound divine, I like a lot of shit in my broth.
I don't like the idea of any food waste whatsoever and I don't have animals to eat it either, other than that it does sound very interesting. I want to try and adapt it so that there is no waste. Perhaps the legs could be made into chicken salad? Maybe the roasted vegetables could be pureed and used for stock in other things?
I like R1's recipe, though I would also modify it to strip much of the meat from a roast chicken to add back in the finished soup, and then roast the carcass for the stock. I approve of the seemingly huge amount of garlic R1 calls for. I have made quick soups out of commercial stock with several heads of garlic boiled in it until the garlic simply dissolves into the liquid. The garlic flavor transforms into an amazingly rich, deep yet mellow flavor. Of course, the house smells of garlic for a couple of days afterwards.
Chicken soup has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may explain it's long reputation as being therapeutic. My partner swears by take-out hot and sour soup from a local Chinese place when he's fighting a cold.
Pho is a Vietnamese soup. They have it in beef, chicken, meatball, fish patty, etc. I'm not into the other varieties - just the chicken. It's better than the typical American version of chicken soup b/c it has large pieces of white meat chicken, bean sprouts, cilantro, noodles, basil, jalapeno slices, etc. i.e. fresh herbs, etc.
When you order it to go, you usually get the broth and chicken in a soup container and the noodles, herb, etc on the side.
I like to add curry powder to chicken soup when I am sick. It opens up my sinuses.
R1, how long do you roast the chicken legs?
[quote]R1, how long do you roast the chicken legs?
Just till they're done, around 45 minutes. Depends on your oven temperature. I like 375 or 400, which means they could be done in a half hour.
The two most essential vegs in chicken soup are celery and LEEKS.
Yes, but Kosher meats are expensive. I agree w/the person who said roast the chicken first. The soup is made from the leftovers, always.
if you want to sweat it out add finely chopped red or green chili pepper
carrots are the secret to great chicken soup.
1. Roast whole chicken.
2. Remove chicken meat from bones & refridgerate. (You can leave alittle on the bones for more flavor.)
3. Take all the bones from the roasted chicken and place in a large stock pot, and add water to cover.
4. Add 2-3 stalks celery, 2-3 carrots, plus one large whole onion (quartered, leave the onion skin on) to the stock pot and add water if needed to cover the chicken bones plus the veggies. (I also like to add 1-2 quartered potatoes.) Bring to a rolling boil.
5. Turn heat down to low and let simmer for 2 hour at minimum.
6. Drain chicken broth from the stock pot and discard the bones and the veggies. Store broth in refrigerator for 12-24 houra.
7. After the 12-24 hour period, all the fat from the stock will rise to the top, and can be easily skimmed off with a spoon (discard fat).
8. The broth likely has cooled to an almost jelly-like consistency. Scoop out as much as you think you'll need for your serving(s) of soup and place in a large coup pan. Cut up some of the chicken from the roasted chicken and add to your stock. Cut up some carrors, celery, and if you'd like, some potatoes, and add to your stock and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to a simmer and let cook for 25 minutes or so or until your veggies are soft. Add your noodle of choice and then cook as directed for the noodles. Salt to taste. YUMMY.
The step to let the soup cool for several hours is critical. You want to skim off as much fat as you can as that makes a healthier and much more tasty broth. You can skip that step if you're in dire need of soup, though!
Here's a recipe for chicken soup made in pressure cooker.
With this one, it takes longer to gather and chop the ingredients that it takes to cook (8 mins. under pressure).
Other recipes abound on the web.